Applications will open December 1st. To learn more about the guidelines and eligibility for the Terrence McNally Award please see below.

McNally Award Guidelines


  • The applicant must have been born, bred, or currently reside in the Philadelphia area in order to be eligible for the McNally Award. The applicant will be asked how they identify as a Philadelphia writer; the intent of the criteria is to be inclusive.
  • The applicant must be over the age of 18 in order to be eligible.
  • The applicant must have up to three pieces of work ready to submit. These pieces may be from three different projects.
  • The McNally award is intended to support emerging playwrights. Playwrights may only win the award once.
  • Plays that have been fully produced more than once or published are not eligible for the McNally Award. Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production will be considered.
  • Plays may not be under option or commision at the time of submission.
  • Playwrights may submit a work that is co-authored but only the submitting artist will be eligible for the award.
  • The work submitted should be primarily in English.


  • Please submit up to three different work samples written for the stage,  that you think best represent your work as a playwright. Terrence McNally’s plays were known to focus on three themes, which we hope our winning playwight will amplify: social justice, queer rights, and the transformative power of art. Please keep this in mind when choosing your submission materials.
  • Please make sure each work sample is under 15  pages, unless you have chosen to submit one full-length play.
  • Scripts must be typed and arranged in professional play script format.  Please provide a synopsis and character breakdown with your play or sample.
  • Please type your entry in a reasonable font and include stage directions where necessary. Please submit a .pdf of your entry so that all formatting will remain intact and no edits can be accidentally made while your submission is being reviewed.
  • Entries must be received by the deadline to be considered.
  • All entries are final, but playwrights will have the opportunity for feedback and revision between selection as a winner and any public presentation.
  • Entries will be adjudicated by a panel of artists and peers drawn from the Philadelphia Theatre Community, the industry and the Company.
  • If you have representation, please include your representation’s contact information on your cover page, along with your preference for whom to contact (it may be the playwright directly).
  • The winner will be notified by email and announced publicly.


If you are a playwright who would like to submit their work for the Terrence McNally Award please submit using this google form. If you do not have a Gmail account or have trouble accessing the application online, you may submit your application directly by emailing [email protected]. Please answer the following questions within your email (please add in the application questions).

The following questions will appear on the application:

  • Name of Applicant:
  • What are your pronouns?
  • First Piece Title:
  • Second Piece Title:
  • Third Piece Title:
  • Can you describe how you identify as a Philadelphia playwright?
  • Describe how your submission represents the spirit of Terrence McNally’s body of work.  Does it amplify, build-up, expand, tell in a new way, the stories that provoke, illuminate, and hold up the core themes about which McNally wrote?
  • Are you over the age of 18?
  • Best way to contact you?